"The events industry in 2020 was one of the worst industries you could have been in. They were the first to close and will be the last to reopen."
Debbie Marks is the owner of the UK's leading, multi-award winning, creative events décor company, Qube Events & Productions. In March last year, the doors closed on what was meant to be their best year yet.
'We live and breathe creative events, weddings, luxury parties, award ceremonies and more, and when Boris [Johnson, the British Prime Minister] told us last year that our world had to stop, it was such a scary thought. Would the business I have spent the last 13 years building crumble around me?
95% of all our work was cancelled throughout 2020; how on earth was I expected to survive that? Our business didn't fall into the hospitality or arts sector, and the entire events industry had been neglected.'
'I've always been a fighter, and I wasn't going to let this beat me.'
Debbie had to take the future of her business into her own hands. 'We have warehouses, a fleet of vans, a team we had spent years building.' Debbie said. 'Usually, the company would have been doing over 300 events a year.'
Cancellations were coming in by the day, and clients were either rescheduling or requesting refunds. The news and everything you saw on social media was doom and gloom; there was negativity everywhere. Debbie, however, made a conscious effort to step away from the noise, 'I felt like it was dragging me down, and I didn't want to be part of it. I'm a positive person by nature, and the events world was just a depressing place to be in.'
Debbie decided she needed a positive place to channel her energy and created her own Facebook community called the Luxury Event Business Hub. It was to become a positive place for other business owners to grow and scale their businesses.
Since starting this group, Debbie has launched an Event Business Blueprint Course and launched her own Level-up to Luxury membership network, helping others launch businesses into the luxury market. Debbie's work meant that she has been able to help business owners remain positive and focussed on coming out of the other side, stronger than ever. 'The transformation has been incredible to see. Not only did it keep others motivated, but it also made me stronger than ever. Surrounding myself with positive people is so vital to the success of my business.'
There's got to be more to life than just work.
It's so easy for life to become work, work, work, and the past year has taught us how important it is to spend quality family time together. We've also had so many missed celebrations but, when you look back, it's possible that your lockdown birthday or Christmas was more special than you thought.
Sure, it might not have been the same as usual, but a lesson we've all learned is that if you are intentional with your living, you can actually make these special occasions really special. It is still possible to create beautiful memories and moments with our families at the end of the day, even with so many restrictions on normal life.
To help people create extra-special events during the pandemic, Debbie created a brand new brand called The Décor Qube, which focuses on helping people celebrate in style at home. Debbie launched at Christmas with her Christmas range of beautiful tablescapes and is now getting ready to launch a range of summer tablescapes prepared for when the world can get together with friends and family again.
Debbie is continuing with her 'Décor in a Box' brand when events come back to life. They've also launched an e-commerce store with their Qube Luxe side of the business. Creating luxury experiences at a touch of a button seems a no brainer in a world where convenience is at the top of the agenda, and we're all going to want to catch up on those missed celebrations.
Debbie's actions show that it's possible to turn a negative situation into something magical. Here are her tips for success when the going gets tough:
Surround yourself with positive people who can help you grow.
If someone tells you, you can't do something, think out of the box and do it anyway.
If something scares you, it's usually a sign that something amazing is about to happen
Be creative and brainstorm ideas of how you can use your skills to succeed in other areas of your life.
Keep focussed and become a specialist in your area of expertise.
Debbie Marks is a leading event decor expert, designer, planner and stylist based in the UK. Debbie has been in the events industry for over 23 years and has a real love for all things creative.
As well as being the Founder of QUBE Events, Debbie is the official event stylist for the National Wedding Show, has been featured in Forbes and is a no-1 bestselling Amazon author. If you need someone to push you in the right direction and teach you the lessons of how to create a successful events decor/hire company, Debbie is your go-to girl! When she's not working, she's happiest spending time doing creative activities with her two little girls.